Sunday, 30 October 2011

Today is the first day of the rest of my life

I've been really slacking off, diet-wise, for the past couple of months and I decided yesterday that things had to change. Today was my fresh start, and it was a good one.

I woke up this morning and exercised with the Wii My Fitness Coach then, after breakfast, I went across the street for a quick walk before church. It was a bit chilly but the sun was lovely... especially on the frost. And it was quiet enough that, at first, I couldn't figure out what the noise was. It was leaves falling from the trees.

By the time I got home then back out to the bus stop, the frost had almost completely melted. I'm glad I went for my walk when I did.

We had pot-luck at church. I filled my plate mostly with salad (my bean, tomato, & pepper one and a lovely green salad with homemade croutons). And one butter tart for dessert.

I had a bag full of apples from my Mom and sisters' trip to the apple orchard Thanksgiving weekend. Today I peeled and chopped all of them and made applesauce with vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of nutmeg. We had it for dessert tonight.

I also found a recipe in an ad in the November Chatelaine magazine. It's one from the Dairy Farmers of Canada but when I tried to find it online, they didn't have the same recipe there. The one in the magazine is called "Spicy Red Lentil and Havarti Soup". I made it for dinner tonight and it was so yummy! It's on page 121 if anyone has the magazine handy and wants to try it. Definitely a keeper recipe. Even my son, who's incredibly picky, ate a whole bowl!

I think what made today great is I kept on top of everything. By the time dinner was on the table, I'd washed everything... including the blender and the soup pot. By 8pm, all the dishes were washed, the lunches packed, breakfast stuff prepped, clothes laid out for work tomorrow, and I was in my pjs. All I need to do now is shut off the computer and crawl into bed. It feels nice knowing everything is prepared for tomorrow.

And since I have to be up at 5:15am tomorrow so I can exercise before work, I think crawling into bed sounds like a good plan.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Yet another Rogers rant

I started my complaint about Rogers here on the 27th of September then moved on to more issues here on October 1st, regarding my lost cellphone and my issues in reordering the same (or similar phone). Both times I was assured that after October 14th I could reorder my Corby Pro for $19.99.

I called, bright and early, on the 15th to order my phone. It was a poor connection so I missed the representative's name. However he assured me repeatedly that it was the same phone I had originally and it would arrive within five business days. The only part that confused me was, when he was hanging up, he commented that there would be a $15-something charge on my bill; four dollars less than what I was expecting. My biggest concern was that he'd sneakily sent me my original phone, the one I replaced this spring, the Motorola Krzr.

I hadn't received any messages regarding my phone or an attempted delivery so called Rogers to check for a tracking number. This time I got Amanda as a representative. She checked through the notes and commented that the previous rep noted he was sending me a 3410 phone but there was no sign of shipping information. I googled the phone and came up with this:

Unless he was not only drunk but blind as well, there's no way he could have mistaken this for the Corby Pro. And, talk about a complete slap in the face, the one thing I've stressed with every customer representative is I need to have a camera. I scrapbook and photography is very important. The only two things I look for in a phone is that it can send and receive calls and that it has a decent camera. This phone is 9 years old, discontinued, and doesn't have a camera! My old phone was a huge step up from this one. At least it had a 2MP camera (and is four years newer).

The best Amanda could offer was the same Samsung phone Bob offered back on October 1st. I explained I'd already turned that phone down. Then she brought up the "upgrade fee", something that had never been mentioned before. Oops... while every representative explained I'd have to pay $19.99 for the phone, no one had mentioned a $180 upgrade fee. I freaked, wanting to know why no-one had mentioned an upgrade fee before, not even the manager Chris. Oh, I'd spoken to a manager before?

That was when I got Jevan on the line. I don't know if I've spelled her name right. The email she promised she'd send at the end of the call hasn't arrived yet. She went through the "manager's list" and found my phone then offered a $39 upgrade fee instead (on top of the $19.99). I took it.

At this point I've been without a cellphone for a month... a cellphone I just paid $35 for (on top of my upgrade fees). I'm just hoping I'll have my phone back in the next few days and that this is the end of my Rogers issues.

Friday, 21 October 2011

An Evening of Hope

Last night was cold and damp and windy. It poured the night before and the lawn was saturated to the point of centimeter deep puddles. It was a good night to be home. Instead my son and I spent two hours in a local park and I'm glad we did.

Last night there was a rally against bullying of all kinds but especially bullying gays, lesbians, and transgendered people. It was also a memorial for people (mostly teens) who had killed themselves. They were remembered with white paper bags, handwritten with messages, with a lit candle placed inside.

My son loved it. There were free cupcakes with purple icing, lots of people to talk to, and he got to buy a rainbow coloured bracelet (which he thought was pretty neat). I talked to him about the event; he often acts a lot younger than his years but he does listen and take in a lot.

I had several reasons for attending. I felt it was important for people outside of the gay community to be there. With any bullying, if only the people being bullied stand up, nothing changes. In order for change to happen, everyone needs to stand up and say "this is wrong". That was the least important reason as I don't have a sign saying "straight" on me and didn't look any different from the rest of the crowd. It still stands though.

I felt it was an important message for my son and I to hear. He missed the anti-homophobia rally his school held last week (he was home hallucinating and recovering from anesthesia from his dentist appointment). There were a lot of very powerful messages yesterday evening. I don't know which was more powerful for me. The sheer number of candles for those who died or listening to the teenage boy beside me (who looked my son's age, maybe a bit younger) agreeing with a video clip. The clip was by a young woman who talked about how hard it had been for her when her family found out, through reading letters, that she was gay and that they no longer loved her or cared about her. That shook me, seeing a boy my own child's age agreeing; not that it would be hard but that it IS hard. I've got two teens of my own and, while they can drive me right around the bend sometimes, I can't imagine them doing anything that would make me stop loving them. Falling in love with someone of the same gender certainly wouldn't be a reason.

But, while the above two reasons are important, the real reason I went is because a young friend of mine asked me to be there for him. And I can't think of a better reason than that. Thanks for inviting me.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

On life and underwear...

I worked on Friday until 3:30pm. It was rainy and both my hands had been hurting all day. I stopped off at a nearby plaza to pick up pain medication then hurried home, vowing not to go back out again that night. I remember unlocking the outside door of the building and know I had the keys when I got inside our apartment. I was positive I'd stuck them, as usual, on the key rack by the front door.

Saturday morning my son went off to do a bike ride for charity (he raised $140!) and I puttered around at home. I decided to chuck in a load of laundry and, as usual, went to grab the keys so I could check the mail while I was down there.

No keys.

That was odd but I figured I'd just placed them in my coat pocket or lunch bag. Checked them as well. Still no keys.

I searched harder on Sunday and still couldn't find the keys. Left for work Monday morning figuring I'd spend my day off today tearing the apartment apart. They had to be here somewhere; I'd come home with the bloody things. Thankfully we had spare keys so I wasn't stuck keyless.

I got home from work yesterday and unlocked our door. My first step was to get changed out of my work uniform. Pulled open my underwear drawer and stopped. There wasn't a single pair of underwear inside. There'd been about 4 pairs in there that morning.

That was when the little lightbulb went off...

... my keys. Someone must have opened my door a crack and fished them off the keyrack... then come back while we were at work and school to steal... my underwear?

I looked around and nothing else was missing. The computer, router, Wii, netbook, and camera were all here. My purse was sitting on the front bench complete with my wallet hanging out (I'd grabbed something out of it that morning) and everything was in there as well. Health cards, bus pass, MasterCard, debit card... all left completely alone. Someone walked past all of that so they could steal my old undies.

Granted, while friends can and do chuckle over my naivety, I'm not quite that naive. I know there's no black market in two year old granny pants; they're not a hot item. There's pretty much only one reason someone would steal underwear (outside of college pranks). But my underwear are not me and I'm simply relived that a) neither my son or I were home b) the cats and guinea pigs are happy and unharmed and c) I'm not having to call my insurance company so I can replace everything.

The locks have been changed, the key rack moved away from my door, and I went out and bought a $4 pack of undies to replace my old ones. So hopefully that's the end of that!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Dancing through life

I saw this picture on Facebook this morning and it speaks to me. This is my basic philosophy towards life. We don't always get what we want (or what we need for that matter). Sometimes life just plain stinks. But there is always a positive.

I can assure you that when I was a teenager, my life's ambition was not to be a single mother of two children on the autism spectrum, serving coffee at a doughnut store, while living in a high rise complex. I was going to be a writer living in a loft in downtown Toronto (complete with a fireplace).

Life is what you make of it. My marriage was not a success but I ended up with two wonderful children out of it and great friends I never would have met otherwise. I've made good friends in both apartment buildings I've lived in over the past 14 years... and at my job. And I'm happy.

There is always a positive to life, no matter how small. There's always a sunrise... a rainbow... a singing bird... a laughing child. And, when we're focusing on the negative, we miss those opportunities to laugh and dance.

We're all twirling around together... spinning through the universe on the same tiny ball. We're all here for a brief time. It doesn't matter if we expected to be someplace else. We're at this party and we might as well dance.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Trip to the dentist... take two (and Thanksgiving)

Back in August, my son went to the dentist and needed a filling. Just a small filling but it was deep enough that the dentist decided he would need some freezing. It would only take five minutes total.

Son freaked. Completely and utterly freaked. Enough that the dentist decided he would do better sedated. Naively I pictured a mask (as did son) and agreed.

We went into the dentist last month for the initial assessment. This was when we realized it was IV sedation. But he would get oral medication to relax him first and laughing gas. He probably wouldn't notice the needle. Famous last words.

Fast forward to today. We went off with Emla patches on his hand and inside of his elbow. Son got two little pills to place under his tongue, then we sat in the waiting room for a half hour while he got sleepy and a bit giggly. He giggled his way to the dentist's chair and laughed at his "clown nose" (the laughing gas mask). So we were all taken a bit by surprise when he went into freaking hysterics when the needle was being inserted. Son is not a little kid, they actually thought he was 18 years old when we walked in (they were off by four years) and he's strong. There was no way we could hold him down for a needle... not even the four of us together.

They decided to pull out the big guns and stuck him in the arm with some needle. Note I don't have a freaking clue what they injected him with... I'm sure they told me but I was draped across a hysterical teen and it flew right over my head. Whatever it was worked though, he was frantically crying one second and asleep the next. He never even noticed the IV being inserted.

They called me in after the filling was done. His eyes were open but he wasn't home. He didn't react to my voice... didn't track my finger when I waved it in front of his eyes. Then he started shaking. The nurse said that was common. Then informed me he was so out of it, he'd probably sleep all afternoon. I had visions of me working on my novel and getting some baking done while he blissfully snoozed on the couch. HA!

The first warning sign was when he woke up and discovered we were at the dentist. Where was the treasure box? He needed a prize. Thankfully he got his toy, even though he hasn't had one in years. The box is full of toys aimed at small children (bouncy balls, plastic bracelets, foam airplanes) as a reward for making it through their appointment.

Second warning sign was on the way to the car when he started insisting he could walk on his own... while falling against my arm with his head lolling on his shoulder.

For the last two hours he's been up every minute (two at the longest). He's hallucinated, cried, laughed, demanded food (only to want a single bite of yogourt), then passed out for a minute. Only to start up again and again. I'd naively figured I could run downstairs and chuck in a load of laundry while he napped. Instead I found myself scared to use the bathroom because son was positive he was fine and could walk and kept getting up.

"Mo-om... I can walk all by myself," he'd slur while staggering into a wall. "I just want to sleep in my own bed," he'd protest. Meanwhile he has a loft bed. Mr. Staggering-into-walls is not climbing a ladder to his loft bed. Especially when he's going to attempt climbing back down in 60 seconds.

I think, hope, the worst is over. He's physically able to sit up on his own now (something he couldn't do a half hour ago) and is calmly watching YouTube videos. He just walked into the kitchen a minute ago without holding onto anything or walking into a single wall.

I had grand plans of blogging what I'm thankful for this weekend. Then ended up busy enough that I didn't have time. Which, in itself is something to be thankful for.

I worked on Saturday and walked home in absolutely incredible weather. It felt more like balmy mid-June weather instead of early October. I was tired of being inside and packed son up so we could go on a walk. Unfortunately, I worked until 3:30pm, so by the time I got home, collected son, got a bite to eat, and hopped on the bus, it was after 5pm. The sun was setting at the beginning of our walk and dusk began to fall just as we got into the more heavily wooded part of the trail. Since it's not lit, we decided to bail. Thankfully we were about a block away from the bus that takes us directly home. The walk was still wonderful and I got a few amazing pictures of the moon. This is one of my favourite shots.

Sunday was even more incredible than Saturday and, once again, I couldn't imagine just sitting at home. Son was a bit more resistant about going out so I agreed to just go across the street to our local trail. The first part of the trail is very short and, for a decent hike, I usually walk into the back of the park and hit the dirt trails. I hadn't been there since July when I discovered the trails were completely overgrown and was thankful to discover those vines had died off and the trail was once again clear. The sunlight poured like thick, warm honey across us and the trees. It truly was bonus weather! Son invited his friends over for Thanksgiving dinner then went to their place for a sleepover.

I'd just woken up on Monday morning when my phone rang. A friend of mine wanted to know if I'd be interested in going to his sister's house with him. I didn't have any plans for the morning so said "sure". I'm pretty easy to entertain. I'm equally as likely to say "sure" for a run through the car wash. I was a little surprised to find out his partner wasn't coming with us, then more surprised to discover his sister didn't know son and I were coming. Surprise doesn't cover finding out we were heading over there so he could read over his father's will. Thankfully his father's alive and well and the will reading was over in five minutes.

As I said in the car, when I start wishing that I could get out of the house and talk about *anything* other than elevators and Minecraft (which I don't play)... I really need to get more specific.

The visit was fun though. My friend's nephew is a year younger than son and both are right into Lego, Pokemon, and Nintendo. Friend's sister asked if we wanted to go to the Brick Works and I, of course, said "sure" even though I really wasn't sure what the Brick Works were.

The Brick Works were amazing! We started out at the kilns. The whole area is covered in spray painted art and there was a bride getting her pictures taken in there. Scattered around the building are long, skinny tunnels with tracks running through them. They were originally built for drying bricks. Behind that was a courtyard where I took this picture. We didn't get into the wooded trails as son was wearing flip-flops. Instead we followed trails around a turtle pond, while the kids ran up hills. Monday, weather-wise, was the best day of the weekend. It was shorts and t-shirts weather and felt more like a hot August afternoon.

We went to my parents' house for dinner that evening and had a quiet family dinner. Then sat out in the backyard until dark.

I've spent much of the weekend thinking about what I'm thankful for and there are a lot of things. Most are pretty obvious. I'm thankful for the health of myself and my family. I'm thankful we live in a country with fresh, clean water readily available at the turn of a tap.

I'm thankful that I live in an area where driving isn't a necessity. I'm scatterbrained and almost never remember my left and right so this should be something everyone's thankful for. I have four buses that go by my home almost every day multiple times a day (one bus doesn't run on weekends).

I'm thankful I live in a country where being an atheist is seen as more of quirk than a sign of moral deficiency... unlike the States which had George Bush announce, before he was elected, that he didn't know if "atheists should be considered as citizens".

I'm thankful that I can walk across the street seven days a week and pick up clean, fresh, and healthy food at a reasonable price. And I'm thankful I have a kitchen with a stove, fridge, sink, and microwave in which to prepare that food.

I'm thankful for my pets... goofy critters that they are.

I'm thankful I'm literate and surrounded by books.

I'm thankful for my kids. They have enriched and changed my life in uncountable ways.

I'm thankful for my friends. They have shared my laughter, my tears, and seen me in all states of quirky.

I could go on forever but, since I've crammed the equivalent of three blogs into one, I won't.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Election day

During the federal election I explained to my kids about the major political parties. We discussed who the party leaders were and went through what each party was offering. My son, in particular, was quite interested in the election and made sure to come with me to vote.

Fast forward half a year (give or take) to the provincial election. This time around I pretty much stayed in denial until early this week. Then I went through all the reasons I didn't want to vote for each party until I found the one I disliked the least.

First up was the Progressive-Conservatives. Last time around they took a "punish the poor" stance and pretty much hammered Ontario into the ground. This time around they decided to release flyers claiming OMG the Liberals are going to teach your six year old about cross dressers! Considering I was standing beside a man in an evening gown during the Sunday service at our church's annual conference, I don't think there's anything in the Liberal's (still unused) sexual education program my kids haven't already picked up at church. I really don't appreciate the shock tactics.

Next are the Liberals, our current party in power. The ones who were apparently asleep when The Highland Companies bought up prime farmland claiming to want to operate a large potato farm, then announced they're making a mega quarry deeper than Niagara Falls and twice as wide... pumping out 600 million litres of water a day. Water that is at the source of 5 major rivers along the Niagara Escarpment. It took them months before they, oops, admitted that maybe a pit mine that size *might* have an ecological impact. Note this was after denying there was a potential issue at all and only after realizing that there were a LOT of angry voters. At the beginning they were pretty much telling concerned voters to suck it up and deal with it.

Then comes the Green Party, complete with a green leader. He sounds like he's a great guy but has no real political experience. He claims he's got a fresh new outlook. I would like someone who knows a little bit about what's going on in politics at the helm of our province.

That leaves us with the NDP. They didn't do that great a job running the province the last time but I think they did a better job than the PCs. And, as someone who takes public transit, I like that they are planning on freezing transit fares in Ontario. Congratulations Andrea... you got my X.

Frankly, the options were so weak this time around that I'd have voted for whatever party offered free cookies. Something politicians might want to keep in mind next time around. I'm a sucker for peanut butter and chocolate by the way.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The "fun" of working customer service

I work at the cash register for a national doughnut store chain. Most of the time when people finish ordering, they then move to the other side of the counter to pick up their food and drinks. This works well when there are two people at cash (one taking orders and one making drinks) but when it's just me it can get a little awkward. Often the next customer will come up wanting to place an order immediately but I've still got three drinks to make and doughnuts to pick up. And, depending on the time of day, I might have to make a sandwich too.

Today was no exception. I got an order for several fancier drinks (including flavourings, whipped cream, and a blender) plus some food items. That was when an older gentleman came up to the cash register and announced, with a heavy accent, "Egg salad. Egg salad and coffee".

I smiled and said, "I'll be with you in a minute sir, I'm serving another customer."

He repeated himself, "Egg salad and coffee."

I repeated myself and again was told, "Egg salad."

I thought for a minute. I could argue with him or I could ring in the egg salad sandwich, hope that someone popped onto the sandwich counter to make it while I made the drinks, then I could come back and finish his order.

So I went to the cash and said, "Is this for here or to go?"

He just smiled.

Scratch that. "Would you like your sandwich on white or whole wheat?"

Same smile. He gave no indication he knew what I was saying. Okay, white non-toasted bun it is. Keyed that into the cash register.

"What size coffee would you like sir?"

Same smile. Fine. Medium black. I can put some creams on the counter for him with the sandwich.

I held up one finger and said "Just a minute sir, I need to help the other customers."

This time he added a nod to his smile.

I made the drinks and went back to the cash register. I read the total amount to him and he handed me a fistful of change. I counted the change out and he had $1.85. A sandwich and a medium drink came to $4.90.

"I'm sorry sir," I explained. "This isn't enough money for a sandwich."

That was when he looked at me and clearly said, "I don't want a sandwich. I want an extra-large black coffee." His accent faded dramatically.

Thankfully no one had made his sandwich and I hadn't poured the coffee yet. If that's his idea of a hobby, I suggest needle point. If it's his idea of a joke, I suggest getting a book on elephant jokes out of the library. Pretending not to speak English just to confuse the cashier is bizarre.

Shortly after that I had an 80 something year old man try to pick me up. His parting words when I turned him down were, "Now don't you try and pretend I never offered." Sorry sir, but I'd much rather pretend this never happened at all.

I don't know when the full moon is, but from the behaviour today I would have sworn it was tonight. My sister assured me it's not and, thanks to Google, it's apparently not until the 12th at 2pm (which was more specific than what I was looking for but still interesting to know).

And woo hoo... I've got tomorrow off. I got asked if I wanted to work but it's my Mom's 65th birthday today (happy birthday Mom!) and my Dad splurged for a spa package for my Mom, my sisters and I for tomorrow. Sorry work, I'm too busy getting pampered tomorrow to come in for you! I figure I'll spend tomorrow morning writing and tomorrow afternoon getting pampered.

A friend of mine posted this picture on Facebook today. Thanks to my daughter, I now know it's by It speaks to me and I'm sure my friends can relate to it as well! Thanks, Wanda, for putting it up on your wall.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Random Thoughts

I was sitting in the living room this weekend when I noticed a flurry of movement out of the corner of my eye. I looked over to see this little guy sitting on our balcony railing, watching me type my last blog entry. Luckily my camera was right in front of me so I was able to snap a couple of shots. We have three cats and, surprisingly, this isn't the first bird to land on our balcony. They even hop off the railing and wander around on the ground. This was one of the cutest ones... usually we just get pigeons (the seagulls only do fly-bys). Thankfully the cats haven't caught one (yet).

I was at Wal-Mart with my son and found this package of "boil in a bag" curry. How do you resist something called "tempting lentils"? Not only is it tempting but it's exotic too (and has a heart). I usually think of lentils as something to add bulk to soup. Ironically that's exactly what I did with these. The soup was yummy!

Now that it's getting colder I've brought our firepot in off the balcony and it's just as lovely inside on a chilly evening as it was outside. I'd been working on my novel and decided to take a photo of my workspace. I can't decide which workplace is nicer... the camping site we had this summer or our table with the candles and firepot lit. The table will get a lot more use though.

And, for my last thought, I'm sharing a picture from Facebook:

It was found on this page.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

What not to do in customer service take two

I called Rogers back today with what I thought were reasonable requests.

1. I am paying for a cell phone and I would like a cell phone I can use. I would like either the courtesy cell phone they insist is available as part of their handset protection plan or my own cell phone.

2. I only want a cell phone for two reasons. One is to use as a phone (that should be obvious) and two is to have it as a back up camera just in case something memorable happens when I don't have my real camera with me. I'm an avid scrapbooker and photography is very important to me. I would prefer the phone I chose originally, the Samsung Corby Pro, but if they have another cell phone with a decent camera I would be willing to accept that one instead.

3. I wanted an explanation on why I have to wait two weeks before I can pay $19.99 for the phone, instead of the $249 available at our local store (it says $279 online). Why can't they waive that two weeks?

First customer service representative on the phone was Bob. He was friendly and willing to try and help out. Unfortunately for Bob, he works on front line and didn't have any suggestions other than going through the list of phones they have currently available for people who had the misfortune of having their phone lost or stolen within the first 6 months of upgrading. The best he had to offer was the Samsung Gravity, which has a 1.3MP camera. Sorry, but if I'm going to be stuck with a phone for three years I want a phone that works for me. I don't want to pay $19.99 for a refurbished phone that does not suit my needs. Especially when I can pay the same price in two more weeks for my original phone. Speaking of which, why do I have to wait those two weeks?

Bob couldn't answer that and transferred me to Stacy in the customer service department. Stacy should have moved onto another job at least a year ago. She was cynical and hard-nosed and got onto the phone with the attitude that I was wasting her time and out to rip off her company. She didn't have anything to do with courtesy phones and she didn't know why I was bothering her about them. That was up to the stores. She didn't particularly care it was part of the plan her company offered. There was no way she could waive that two weeks, the charge for the phone would be automatic. She wouldn't be able to credit my account for the charge either. Besides, why should Rogers have to credit my account? She knew that I could have a phone in 5 days if I wanted. It didn't matter to her that the phones they were offering didn't suit my needs. That was when I barked "I want to speak to your manager NOW!"

Next on the line was Chris, ostensibly her manager, although chances are he was her supervisor. No one ever speaks to a real manager in a call centre. I reiterated my concerns yet again. By this time I'd been on the phone for an hour. Chris explained that they only offer the upgrade I'm getting (which is available to all new customers by the way) to people in their last two years of a contract. Again that "get them upgraded and onto a new contract before they quit" philosophy. So getting a new phone 6 months into a contract was really bending things for me. And there was no way they were going to budge with the two weeks.

I explained that my biggest issue was I currently don't have a phone. It's funny, I went without a cell phone for years but they're incredibly handy. I really could have used one yesterday. I got off the bus at the mall, leaving my son on the bus with plans of meeting his Dad at a bus stop farther down the road. Son was supposed to call his Dad as he passed the mall. This was to give his Dad time to get to the bus stop. As I was getting off the bus and the doors were closing, son informed me that his Dad wasn't answering his phone. And there I stood as the bus pulled away, with the dawning realization I had no cell phone. Son couldn't call me if he couldn't find his Dad and son had only ever been there once. That was when I went to the Rogers store in the mall and asked for a courtesy phone as my phone was lost. They didn't have one but, confronted by a ticked off and panicked Mom, were willing to let me use their store phone to contact my son. Who was luckily with his Dad by then.

Chris explained that he couldn't give me a courtesy phone, they weren't available through customer service (which is directly opposite of what the lady at the store in the mall thought). But blithely assured me there were 15 Rogers Plus stores in my area and at least one of them must have a courtesy phone. He would put a note in my file telling the sales clerk that I was to get a phone and I could use that until the 14th.

I lucked out, in a sense, as the first store clerk I talked to had literally just called all the stores in the area looking for a courtesy phone and not a single phone was available. Which saved me a heck of a lot of dialing but still left me without a phone.

So I called Rogers back and got John. John was so new to Rogers that he needed to speak to his coach before getting approval. By this point all I was asking was for a credit for the time without service. John calculated this to be fourteen or fifteen dollars but, surprise, I don't qualify for even that little of a discount on my bill. The best he was able to offer me was two months unlimited texting instead. Even though I don't text anyone other than my daughter, I took it. The other option was some sort of discounted long distance. I don't call anyone long distance so that was even less of a help than the texting. Thanks Rogers, for offering me services I don't need instead of a credit that would actually prove to be handy. So, if any of my friends get a sudden urge to text me in the next two months, feel free.

And Rogers, if you're going to offer a service like the courtesy phone, make sure it's a service you honestly have available AND make sure you explain it to your staff. Because, quite frankly, at this point I seem to know more about your courtesy phone plan than a good chunk of your staff and I'm not get getting paid by you. Speaking of which Rogers dear, with the number of times you've screwed me over the past two weeks, you really should pay me something. And I sure hope this was better for you than it was for me.